Man mistakenly sentenced to 400 years in prison is released 30 years later
Sidney Holmes was released from jail after he managed to prove his innocence after serving 34 years in prison for a crime he did not commit
Photo: Florida Innocence Project
At 57, Sidney Holmes managed to prove his innocence after serving 34 years in prison for a crime he did not commit. Although he had a life sentence on his shoulders, he insisted on his allegation and upon leaving prison he affirmed that “You can’t lose hope, hope is something you can never give up.”
Holmes, 23 years old at the time, was sentenced in 1988 to spend his entire life in prison. They accused him of being linked to an armed robbery for allegedly driving the vehicle in which two unidentified people were moving, who assaulted a man and a woman in Boward County, north of Miami, Florida (USA). USA).
“He was convicted of being the driver of two unidentified men, who robbed a man and a woman at gunpoint in the market. The two men stole the male victim’s car,” said a statement from Broward State Attorney Harold F. Pryor.
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This week, the US citizen’s sentence and sentence were overturned at a hearing before Judge Edward Merrigan. The State Attorney’s Office dropped all charges, exonerating him from wrongful imprisonment.
In a collaborative investigation between the Conviction Review Unit and the Florida Innocence Project, Holmes’s claim of innocence was found to have valid justification, because of the “poor identification of the eyewitness, which was the primary evidence in against him in the trial” according to the local channel Miami NBC.
At the time of the trial, the brother of one of the robbery victims claimed that Holmes’s vehicle, an Oldsmobile Cutlass, was the same as the one the attackers had used to flee.
“A civil investigation based on some similarities between his extremely common Oldsmobile and the car used by the thieves, overlooked the differences between the two vehicles and was likely a misidentification,” Pryor said of this case.
Breaking News: IPF Client Sidney Holmes exonerated after 34 years in wrongfully incarcerated for a 1988 Broward County armed robbery he did not commit. This was a result of a collaborative reinvestigation of the case with the Broward County Conviction Review Unit.
— Innocence Project of FL (@FLA_Innocence) March 13, 2023
In 2020, Sidney Holmes applied to the Florida Innocence Project, whose mission is to find and release the innocent in Florida prisons, help exonerees transition back into society, and work to reform the criminal justice system, as they mention on their website.
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Given a second chance at life, Holmes has his eyes set on the future. As soon as he left prison, he assured local media that he will seek to work on “a type of prison reform, because it is very necessary.”